Works minister inauguratess 2.1km NINLAN road in Abia
By Yolamchi Ukaga, Aba
Mr. Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, has stated that the newly constructed 2.1 kilometers internal road in the National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), brings to 29, the total number of internal roads, built by federal government within Nigeria’s various tertiary institutions.
Fashola, who was represented at the commissioning, by Mr. Bede Obioha, federal controller of works in Abia state explained that the federal government was currently intervening in 43 roads in various higher institutions across Nigeria.
The minister, observed that although a lot of works was still needed in many sectors of the nation, his ministry was working hard to bridge the gap.
According to Fashola, there are 43 road interventions with tertiary institutions across Nigeria and students are expressing renewed enthusiasm with regard to attending classes.
“To date, 29 road intervention projects have been completed with 17 already handed over in 2020. Today, we hand over this one in National Institute for Nigerian Languages, Aba, Abia state, as a critical intervention to support education”, he stated.
The minister explained further that two of such road intervention projects are in Abia, adding Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUA) has one of such projects measuring one kilometre.
Fashola said that the gap in Nigeria’s infrastructure needs is steadily being bridged by a gradual process of repairs, renewal and construction on major highways and added that such interventions has reached schools.
He said that there is no doubt that the quality of education will be impacted by the quality of infrastructure and the learning environment, which according to him is why the Federal Government is determined to make Nigerian schools fully ready with necessary infrastructure.
Fashola described government’s initiative as “an investment in education” and urged the school’s managements to ensure proper use of the infrastructure. He further stated that the project has helped in job creation, throughout the duration it lasted, noting that 40 youths within the area were engaged, during the construction.
Abia state governor, Okezie lkpeazu, commended the federal ministry of works and housing for commitment and dedication towards addressing the huge infrastructural gap in the road network sector at NINLAN, Aba.
The governor lauded the will of the federal government to facilitate the resolution of internal road inadequacy matters with a view to enhancing the road network aesthetics of the institute, through the commissioning of the 2.1 kilometres road.
Ikpeazu, represented by his deputy, Ude Oko Chukwu, also called the attention of the federal government to urgently expedite action on the slow pace of work on the bad road networks, such as the Opobo Azumini road, Aba-Port Harcourt Express and Umuahia/lkot Ekpene Highway.
The executive director of NINLAN, Prof. Obiajulu Emejulu, described the federal government’s intervention as unprecedented, adding that it has raised the profile of the institute. He explained that the road network was complementing NINLAN’s brand-new National Certificate of Education programmes and at the same time, giving a sense of belonging to both the students and workers.
This is as he appealed to the minister to extend the newly constructed road by 400 metres to contain the menace of erosion in the institute.
According to Emejulu, the institute had serious erosion menace of which the report had already been submitted to the Ecological Funds office. He noted that the institute had suffered untold neglect since its inception 28 years ago, stressing that NINLAN’s inability to be covered by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), is seriously affecting the institute.